Work on restoring a two-mile stretch of severely eroded shoreline along the Delaware River in Salem County is expected to begin in early November following the award of a project contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The $9.9 million contract to restore Oakwood Beach in Elsinboro was made by the Army Corps of Engineers to the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company. The project is part of the Christie Administration’s ongoing commitment to making the state more resilient following Superstorm Sandy.
This is one of 11 major coastal and flood projects statewide being done by the USACE in coordination with New Jersey and the DEP, at a cost of more than $1 billion for overall coastal protection.
“Rebuilding beaches is a key part of the Administration’s overall resiliency plan,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said. “We are pleased to be partnering with the Army Corps on this project, which will result in a 50-foot wide beach that will provide needed protection along this stretch of Delaware River shoreline.”
“We thank the Army Corps of Engineers’ for its cooperation with the state on this project and in helping the state move towards building a full, statewide coastal protection system.’‘
The federal government will pay for 65 percent of the project and the state will pay 35 percent. Following the initial construction, the beach will be replenished periodically over a span of 50 years under the same spending formula.
The project was authorized more than a decade ago but did not receive funding until 2013 when Congress enacted the Hurricane Sandy special relief act in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. A provision in the act enables the state to finance its portion of the initial construction over 30 years.
Some 346,000 cubic yards of sand from a borrow area in the Delaware River will be pumped onto the beach. Oakwood Beach is located about eight miles southwest of the city of Salem.
The DEP has been working in partnership with the Army Corps to improve beaches and dune systems as part of the Christie Administration’s comprehensive resiliency strategy.
This strategy also includes the Sandy Blue Acres buyout program which will move 1,300 residential properties out of harm’s way, financing of projects that will bolster protections for water and wastewater infrastructure, establishing tough reconstruction elevation standards in flood zones, and providing financial assistance for flood elevations of homes.
Press Release, September 21, 2014